Jakob Dinesen: Unconditional Love

The satin-toned Dinesen comes across as a poet of the saxophone in a quartet with a guitar-led rhythm section featuring Jeff “Tain” Watts


Jakob Dinesen sells jazz poems. Whether the poem speaks of lazy Sunday afternoons or parties at the local barrelhouse, Dinesen’s pen strokes are disciplined but lively. His is a satin tenor sound laced with sandpaper grains. One of the most prolific jazz musicians from Denmark, Dinesen has joined forces with guitarist Jacob Artved, bassist Felix Moseholm and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts.

Consecutive listening to the enticing result reinforces feelings of yearning for things that are easily taken for granted in the maelstrom of day-to-day reality. Like friendship. Or the beauty of a wheat field in the wind. 

Dinesen shares his penchant for wistful jazz with veteran of jazz poetry Charles Lloyd. This becomes evident on the lush Say, which opens the albums on a note of modality and lets Dinesen spin circles around Artved’s spacious chords like a hungry cat around the legs of its owner. Then there’s Ellington’s Melancholia, a touching attempt at resurrecting the innocence of childhood.

Dinesen draws on his refined colleagues. Without exception, they identify strongly with Dinesen’s compositions (Dinesen wrote all the tunes except Melancholia and the title piece by Geri Allen) and move effortlessly from the Sahara desert (Bahoup) to dinner by candlelight (Jaden’s Jam) and Saturday night fish fry (Tyk Onsdag). Obstinately woven into Unconditional Love’s fabric, Artved’s biting lines complete Dinesen’s elongated melodies, which are succinctly underlined by Watts’s subtle polyrhythm.

Strong repertoire, a great deal of creativity and, last but not least, a gorgeous band sound are the assets that makes Dinesen’s cornering of the jazz poetry market tick.

Say; Unconditional Love; Bahoup; Jaden’s Jam; Here Comes Marvin; Pharaoh; Melancholia; Tahya / Tyk Onsdag (49.28)
Dinesen (ts); Jacob Artved (g); Felix Moseholm (b); Jeff “Tain” Watts (d). Easton, Pennsylvania, 4 & 5 December 2021.
Stunt Records 22052